What Causes Concrete to Crack?
Concrete is a popular choice for many home construction projects due to its affordability, flexibility, and durability. Still, even the most durable materials have a limited lifespan and will wear out over time as they are exposed to the normal wear and tear and the eroding effects of the elements. The average lifespan for concrete is about 30 years, assuming that it has been properly maintained.
There are a number of factors that could cause concrete to begin to crack and degrade earlier than expected. If you find that cracks have begun to form soon after the concrete was laid, it’s likely caused by shrinkage from an excess amount of water in the mix. As concrete dries, it also shrinks as excess water evaporates. The more excess water there is in the mix, the greater the shrinkage is and cracks form as the concrete pulls apart as it shrinks.
It’s not just excess water in the mix that can cause cracks in the concrete, but concrete that dries too quickly is also at risk of cracking. This is essentially a form of shrinkage, where the surface of the concrete dries more quickly than the interior, which can cause surface-level cracks as the surface of the concrete shrinks more than the interior. This kind of damage is typically just cosmetic and won’t necessarily affect the durability of the concrete as the cracks are surface level and not deep.
Concrete can also wear and crack more quickly depending on the climate the concrete is in. Concrete tends to be less durable in colder climates, as temperature changes can cause water in the ground below the concrete to expand and contract as it freezes and thaws. The repetitive freezing and thawing will cause microcracks to form in the concrete over time, and eventually, these will suddenly pop into full, visible cracks in the concrete.
To make sure the concrete is mixed and laid properly, it’s best to seek help from professionals like Razorback Concrete. To learn more, visit www.razorbackconcrete.com today.